Page:Transportation and colonization.djvu/67

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lation of New South Wales. I shall have occasion in the sequel to show that it was not the original intention of the founders of that colony that it should have been constituted in so unheard-of a manner; at present, therefore, I shall only point out a singular political result of the grand mistake which has thus been made in the organization and constitution of the Australian penal colonies. In the American colonies the liberated convict could only hope to repossess himself of the political rights and privileges of freemen, by causing his previous character and history to be entirely forgotten in his subsequent good conduct, and by thereby inducing the belief that he was really worthy to exercise them: but the liberated convict of N«w South Wales comes boldly forward to claim these rights and privileges,—besieging the British parliament with his memorials and petitions on the subject—on the ground, forsooth, of his having undergone the full amount of punishment denounced for certain crimes and misdemeanours, by the laws of his country: or, in other words, on the ground of his being an emancipated convict, he lays claim to the elective franchise, to constitute legislators for the people, and to the still more important office of juryman, to sit in judgment in matters concerning their liberty or their lives!

And why does the emancipated convict of New